Art Scene

by Julia Hayden

So a couple of weeks ago, my daughter dragged me – only protesting faintly – away from my home comforts and the computer, and my customary Friday evening comforts to go to an art gallery. Yes indeedy – I have a connection to the San Antonio art scene, through the person of my daughter's high school classmate, Edith Ann Tankink. Blondie and Edith have kept in touch since graduation from St. Francis Academy. This was back when St. Francis an all-girls's Catholic college-prep high school located conveniently close to Kelly AFB, run by the School Sisters of St. Francis. This provided my daughter with an excellent, old-fashioned education, encouraged Edith to polish her artistic skills (which are considerable, if I say so myself) but left both of them with a life-long aversion to box-pleated plaid skirts.

The Spring Fling at Armonic Arts was Edith's first-ever gallery showing, so of course we simply had to go, my daughter insisted.

We had missed just about every other first in Edith's life, including wedding and births of children, so there we were, driving through a funky little neighborhood off of Sunset in Alamo Heights, looking for something that looked like a gallery, in a neighborhood of tiny half-century old cottages, and dusty yards of half-dead grass. And there it was – couldn't miss for all the cars parked in front and along the side-walkless streets, in front of a charming old house with a long back-yard, and a flower-bed planted with teacups and saucers mounted on long rods. No, a little off the beaten art-gallery track – but a splendidly personal, funky little gallery, spread out in the rooms of a sort-of-private home. Edith's paintings were in what I guess would have been the front bedroom, and the rest of the show was grouped in other rooms: even the hallways were pressed into service for their wall-space: one was adorned with rows and rows of framed and hand-painted Tarot cards, and the other with paintings by the most-established artist at the Spring Fling, Charles Ingram.

There was a table moved into the back corner of the living room – er- the main gallery space, covered with refreshments: wine and beer and soft drinks, with cheese and crackers and most delicious home-made hummus and dips, and even with that inducement, I wouldn't have thought I would have stayed for very long, after admiring Edith's paintings . . . but that I struck up a conversation with Charles Ingram, who turned out to be a passionate local history enthusiast. He had his twenty-something aged son with him at the showing, for pretty much the same reasons that I drag my daughter to my book things – for assistance at least as much as moral support – so Blondie and young Mr. Ingram had a wry and companionable chuckle over that.

We wound up having a very nice talk, ranging through some aspects of local history, the Civil War in Texas, and the roots of Texas rebellion against governance for Mexico. I had a good time, although on reflection, this probably kept other art-lovers from getting in a word edgeways.

Oh, well – there is always First Friday. And Edith has another showing coming up, soon.